Augmented Reality Apps for iPhone

Augmented Reality on Gadgets are in Vogue. They are trendy, is fun to use and give good utility. After all, it takes virtual life into Real life .

Starting from iPhone 3.1, lots of Augmented Reality apps  have come to iPhone. So to help you out choosing the right one for you (most work only on iPhone 3GS), we have collected all the best ones here:

1.  Layar

Layar is the first AR app to arrive on iPhone and Android platform. Layar is not a single purpose app—it’s fed by a growing library of “layers,” which range from Wikipedia to Flickr to apartment listings in your local town. So this multipurpose app does more than any other app does. The best thing, it’s free, so it’s a great way to get things started in AR world.

2. Yelp

Yelp originally intended to be a local recommendations app. When AR was added, local food search became more intuitive things like “Where to find Sushi”, “Nearest Indian spicy food” becomes piece of cake. This one’s secret—you’ve got to shake your phone to activate it. The App is free and awaits your download.

3. UrbanSpoon

UrbanSpoon is a broader version of UrbanSpoon. The Augmented reality implementation is slick: With a of your iPhone, you get  2D map mode, and tilt it back up to switch to THE FUTURE. The App is again, free. Good things in life come for free. 🙂

4. Wikitude

As the name suggests, the app is based on WikiPedia locations. The App overlays reality. It shows text bubbles over the locations of geotagged Wikipedia articles. What differentiates this from something like Layar is that through the app’s website, Wikitude.me, you can add your own points of interest. Most of the data sets used by AR apps are broad and not that useful outside of large cities, so this is a good way to build your own hyperlocal augmented reality.

5. Nearest Subway

Point your camera  and it Overlays your camera’s view with floating, labeled avatars of your nearest subway stations. This one’s is right now local to NY, For other cities  similar apps are Nearest Tube for London, Bionic Eye for Tokyo, etc. But it doesn’t matter, because the experience of actually using this thing borders on sexual, especially if you’re used to compass-less Google Maps. This ain’t free, though, comes for $2.

6. RobotVision

Like Layar or Wikitude, RobotVision is also a location based point-of-interest app, on the contrary it uses Bing to yield results. I don’t know if that is a wise deal. It’s a change of pace if you’re getting tired of browsing through local historical sites with Wikipedia, or watching local Twitterfiends broadcast their locations every eight minutes. Good for Bing Lovers. Though company is supposed to add Google too.

7. Assasin FPS:

This is app intended just-for-fun, not much utility here. It’s a FPS HUD, gun included, superimposed onto real life. So, finally, you can shoot your enemies and bosses in the face, or rocket-blast the person standing in front of you. Shooting them will cost you a Dollar in App Store.8. NearesWiki

App that shows you Wikipedia articles about your surroundings. Made by the same company that made Nearest Places, acrossair, it uses a similar layout and offers the same quality experience. Comes at $2

UPDATE: Thanks Chris, we are adding more to the list:

9. Bionic Eye

Bionic Eye has grabbed huge attention due to the fact that it works across the US. It lets you visualize locations such as restaurants, coffee shops, Apple stores, and various tourist locations. When vertical, it gives you a 360-degree view of all POI near your location, updated in real time; when you flip it to horizontal position, you’ll see a list of all the nearest POI. The App is barely a dollar, worth every single penny.

10. WorldSurfer

WorldSurfer app lets you use your iPhone as a compass on steroids while you are out in public. Just open up the World Surfer app is a compass on Steriods, it finds information about the places you see around you, while you are walking. e.g. you can point your phone down a street to see if there is anything good to eat in that direction, or point your phone at a building to learn its history, see Flickr pictures or YouTube movies. Bookmark your car or any favorite place and be guided right back to it. Look for special offers only when you want them. This app collaborates most of the tasks done by other apps individually. As far as pricing is concerned, it won’t drill a hole in pocket at $2.99

11. Lodestone AR Campus

Lodestone puts a detailed compass over your view of the world to help you navigate and includes detailed Google Maps to assist in your travels. Lodestone finds Wikipedia articles from your location and displays them in your camera view at their proper compass direction and elevation. If you  love trekking, you will love this app even more. Want to know the elevation of that mountain you’re about to climb? Simply tilt your iPhone down to reveal a map, tap to drop a pin and raise the iPhone back up. You’ll see the elevation of the pin relative to your current elevation. (This uses iPhone 3GS Magnetometer). Costs $1.99
12. Pocket Universe

Pocket Universe is out of this planet. Point your iPhone towards the Stellar sky to display a labelled map of the cosmos matched to wherever it’s pointed. It’s a heavy-duty astronomy news and reference app in addition to the AR feature. As you are not looking through the camera the data is not viewed as a layer, but at night that would be pretty hard to see anyway. Like other AR apps, on launch, user’s location is queried, and then the compass guides your view of the sky (now this is awesome) to reveal exactly what can be found at a given time and place. I guess at price of $4, it’s justified.
Yes, there are loads of others, but the list is limited to what looks like ‘good apps’ today.

We will keep on updating the List, so make sure you stay in touch by the one of the following ways:

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  • Some other augmented reality apps for the iPhone not in your list include:

    Several other Wikitude competitors
    besides NearestWiki, my favorite being:

    Cyclopedia – Also pulls from Wikipedia GPS data. Different interface, better organized.

    Plus others:
    Bionic Eye
    WorldSurfer
    Loadstone AR Compass

    Some games:

    Fairy Trails – game where you chase down, yes, fairies.

    Firefighter 360 – action firefighter game.

    ArcadeReality – shooter game.

    Junaio – Metaio's mobile AR browser with some social gaming features and scalable/ rotatable 3D objects.

    Peak AR – overlays to identify mountain peaks of all mountain ranges in the world.

    IKEA App – (Spanish only for now) That lets you overlay their furniture in your room to see how it will look in your home before you buy.

    Cheap Gas – Shows all gas stations in you vicinity will overlays of their logo, and the price they are currently sell gas at.

    There are several different “Find My Car” apps. Me too apps, all almost identical in features. You click to place a GPS marker before you leave your car, then they do a floating overlay in the direction of you car so you can always find your way back to it again when you leave.

    Several Different Train and Subway Finder Apps:
    Nearest Tube for London
    NY Subway
    Also one for Paris

    There is an app, I forget the name, but if you point it up at the night sky, it overlays and identifies all the constellations.

    Those are the others I'm aware of, off the top of my head. I'm sure I've missed a few as well.

    cheers,
    Chris

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  • Some other augmented reality apps for the iPhone not in your list include:

    Several other Wikitude competitors
    besides NearestWiki, my favorite being:

    Cyclopedia – Also pulls from Wikipedia GPS data. Different interface, better organized.

    Plus others:
    Bionic Eye
    WorldSurfer
    Loadstone AR Compass

    Some games:

    Fairy Trails – game where you chase down, yes, fairies.

    Firefighter 360 – action firefighter game.

    ArcadeReality – shooter game.

    Junaio – Metaio's mobile AR browser with some social gaming features and scalable/ rotatable 3D objects.

    Peak AR – overlays to identify mountain peaks of all mountain ranges in the world.

    IKEA App – (Spanish only for now) That lets you overlay their furniture in your room to see how it will look in your home before you buy.

    Cheap Gas – Shows all gas stations in you vicinity will overlays of their logo, and the price they are currently sell gas at.

    There are several different “Find My Car” apps. Me too apps, all almost identical in features. You click to place a GPS marker before you leave your car, then they do a floating overlay in the direction of you car so you can always find your way back to it again when you leave.

    Several Different Train and Subway Finder Apps:
    Nearest Tube for London
    NY Subway
    Also one for Paris

    There is an app, I forget the name, but if you point it up at the night sky, it overlays and identifies all the constellations.

    Those are the others I'm aware of, off the top of my head. I'm sure I've missed a few as well.

    cheers,
    Chris

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